With the addition of Sanjay Jain to our team, we've been talking to a lot of partners about Microsoft's Dynamics CRM product. Our team is not only evangelizing Microsoft CRM, we are users of the product. At Microsoft, this is sometimes referred to as "Dogfooding". A common challenge and some initial resistance to adopting the CRM system on our team was the fear of maintaining multiple systems for our contacts. Individually, we had all been maintaining our ISV partner contacts in Microsoft Outlook and that just made sense. However, as accounts transitioned amongst members of the team or as different groups were introduced to the partners, v-cards started to proliferate in our mail system. A new phone number, change of role or title quickly got lost.

Managing shared customer and partner contacts in a CRM system has tremendous benefits. Knowing that you can keep Outlook and your Windows Mobile device synchronized with Microsoft CRM can make any road-warrior skeptic a believer! Using the Outlook CRM Client you can synchronize existing contacts by choosing "Tracking in CRM" from the standard Outlook Contact Inspector. From the same screen you can assign the "parent" or the company that the contact belongs to.

Install the CRM client, specify the address of your Microsoft Dynamics CRM server and you'll have immediate access to these buttons in the Office Ribbon bar.